Conserving resources in commercial facilities

Conserving resources in commercial facilities

iStock photo

Commercial buildings are famous exploiting and overusing natural resources. However, if managed correctly, commercial buildings can help conserve natural resources. 

Recycling paper, using less electricity and investing in energy efficient devices all can help. Renewable resources include water and trees, but even then, reservoirs and lakes have been drying up along the west coast.

Lake Mead, a reservoir that provides water to more than 20 million residents in three states, recently was at its lowest since 1937. The effects of water shortages are worldwide, with India, for example, reporting 91 major reservoirs being alarmingly low.

Ways to conserve

As with water, there are several ways to help conserve – more than a hundred in fact. WaterUseItWisely.com provides many of simple recommendations that can be added to daily/weekly routines. For instance, thousands of gallons of water can be saved each month and darker clothes prevented from fading just by washing laundry when there’s a full load and in cold water. Turning off sinks when brushing teeth can save on average four gallons of water.

Not sure when to water the lawn? Simply walk across it. If the blades of grass don’t spring back up in footprints, it’s time to water.

There are scores ways to conserve electricity. Reminding workers to be aware of uses of heating/cooling, lighting and electronics can keep the meter in check and affordable. Cutting back on central air and using ceiling fans, when available, reduces energy consumption on warm days. Also lowering the thermostat when leaving a room or building can greatly affect an energy bill. Finally, don’t ignore “unplug” messages on fully charged mobile devices. They might be at 100 percent but are still keeping the meter outside turning.

Solar power

When it comes to electricity, there aren’t only ways to conserve, but to gather and resell through solar power. Saving money through solar starts with an investment.

Adding solar panels to a building is a long-time gain both environmentally and economically. Governments on federal, state and city/town levels offer tax credits for converting buildings to using renewable energy.

Energy consumption

Learning about public administration can help in this regard. Based on consumption, some electric companies are open to building owners and managers selling back their solar energy for credits toward their utility bills. Anyone who has earned an online MPA knows that balancing a budget means finding new ways to conserve, such as the minds behind Babcock Ranch in Florida – a town being built of pure solar power.

Using published information and sharing tips on social media can help conserve more energy for a better tomorrow and for future generations. In commercial buildings, energy and resources can easily be conserved for everyone to enjoy. 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego area.


Topics: Building Owners and Managers, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Great Commercial Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Urban Planning and Design


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